Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 22 show: Poverty among lesbians, gays and bisexuals

We spoke to Lee Badgett of the Williams Institute at UCLA about a recent study that showed that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are significantly more likely to live in poverty than their heterosexual peers. We weren't able to go into all the details, so you can get more info by reading the complete report here.

We're trying a new format that allows listeners to call in with questions during our longer live interviews. One of the questions we got last night was about poverty in the transgender community. Because the study we were discussing was based on the U.S. Census and the National Survey of Family Growth, the authors were unable to look into that question. The U.S. Census asks about the gender of cohabitating partners and the National Survey of Family Growth asks about sexual orientation, but neither gives participants the option of identifying themselves as transgender. She also noted that the U.S. Census does not ask about sexual orientation, so conclusions about single gays, lesbians and bisexuals could only be drawn from the National Survey of Family Growth. Badgett said this is a huge problem in research and that the agencies that carry out these large surveys need to be pushed to ask such questions.

You can read additional Williams Institute reports on sexual orientation and public policy here.

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